1. To see if Bermuda was continuing to build up and to determine what is my next step with this hive
2. To do a powdered sugar shake on all three hives and put the sticky sheets under the hives for a Varroa count
3. To see how Mellona and Proteus are doing with the starter strips in the medium box (above the deep brood box)
Bermuda looked good - the numbers of bees continue to increase. The queen is now laying in five or six of the center frames. There is an empty of brood foundation-filled frame at the #2 spot in the frames. Tomorrow I'm going to replace it with a full sheet of small cell foundation. We'll see if they can manage it. They are not using the frame for brood or honey or pollen so I won't be depriving the bees.
Mellona was next. The bees have built down from the starter strips in the brood box on the three frames on either side of the four nuc (large cell) frames. This is the outside edge frame from Mellona.
This frame is #2 or #9 depending on how you are counting. You can see that the bees have drone comb over to the left of the picture and good brood comb in the upper center. Overall I am well-pleased with how they are working with the starter strips of small cell.
I only removed the outside two frames of the brood box. The picture below was taken looking down into the box of the #3 frame. You can see that there is drone comb to the left of this frame as well, again with a good brood pattern in the upper center.
Mellona bees haven't starting building in the medium box with the frames with starter strips. They are concentrating on building up the hive in the brood box below.
I gave this hive a powdered sugar shake and put the sticky board under the hive. My screened bottom boards did not come with a slot for a sticky board so for Bermuda and Mellona, I cut poster board and smear it with Vaseline and then slide it between the concrete blocks that support the hive so that it collects droppings from the screened bottom board above it. I'll check it tomorrow and see what the counts are.
When I went to Proteus, I found quite a different picture. (See next post)